You have been running a local trucking company for a while now, and you want to go nationwide. You know that you will have extra regulations with which to comply, and you are wondering what permits you will need. You are also concerned with how much money it will cost, how much paperwork you will need to fill out, and whether it will be worth your effort.
According to Simplex Group, getting all the paperwork you will need to start a trucking business can be very involved. You may need permits in every state in which you operate, so it is a good idea to hire a professional trucking compliance company to assist you with your setup.
Obtain a DOT Number
Before you can operate an interstate trucking company, you will need to have a number from the Department of Transportation issued to you for each of your trucks. To obtain the DOT number, you will have to get insurance for the type of trucks you operate.
If you operate a vehicle that weighs 10,001 pounds or more with trailers included or if you transport more than eight passengers for money, you must obtain a number. If you transport over 15 passengers, including the driver, for no compensation, you must also have a DOT number.
If you transport enough hazardous material that you require placards on your vehicle, you must have a DOT number. You can obtain a DOT number via the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.
You must obtain the proper insurance to operate an interstate trucking company. You will need liability and cargo insurance to comply with FMCSA rules. You will also need to appoint a processing agent.
This is someone who can receive legal paperwork for you. You will need to have a processing agent in every state that you operate. There are companies you can hire to act as processing agents for you.
You May Need a Motor Carrier Number
You may think a DOT number is the same as a motor carrier’s number, but it is not.
A USDOT number identifies carriers that operate trucks carrying interstate commerce. An MC number is for carriers that transport regulated commodities.
If the commodities you transport are not regulated by the Government, you will not need an MC number. However, You probably do not want to limit yourself regarding the kind of cargo you can carry. Hence, it is a very good idea to get a Motor Carriers permit.
Register With the URC
Once you have obtained the proper insurance in every state, you will register with the Unified Carrier Registration System. You will register with both your DOT number and your MC number. You will then be issued a letter stating that you have the authority to operate.
If you have a vehicle weighing over 55,000 pounds, you must register it as a heavy-use vehicle. You will have to pay special taxes on this vehicle. There are some states that require a special permit to operate a heavy-use vehicle on their roads.
Get an IRP Tag
When you have any International Registration Plan tag, You will be able to operate in the lower 48 and some provinces in Canada. The IRP is a reciprocity agreement between all the states.
Motor carriers will register and pay fees in their home state, and that money will be distributed to all 48 states. The fees you pay will be based on the distance traveled through each state.
International Fuel Tax Decal
Every trucking company In the United States will need an IFTA decal. The International Fuel Tax Agreement makes paying fuel taxes easier.
Truckers used to have to get separate fuel permits in every state through which they traveled, but the IFTA created a system where trucking companies get just one fuel permit in their home state. The company simply pays taxes to its home state office, and the money is distributed to the states in which they purchase fuel.
There are other permits you may need depending on the type of cargo you haul and the places to which you deliver. Trucking is a very complex industry, and hiring a company to handle compliance and permitting for you is best. Hiring a professional compliance company will allow you time to acquire clients, hire qualified drivers, and safely get your cargo from one place to another.